SPPD is a mixture of a falling block puzzle game, and a platform shooter which controls like Cave Story. Coloured blocks will fall from the sky and arrange themselves, to which you can destroy blocks of the same colour by shooting them, similar to the connection style in Super Puzzle FIghter, blocks can form long lines or large blocks and then be shattered all a once for a large score multiplier (1 block gives 1 point, 2 connected blocks give 4 points, so on).
From here, the game tries to kill you in a multitude of ways, from crushing you underneath waves of falling blocks, to environmental traps like flying lava and falling drills, to block traps like turrets which fall from the sky and start firing upon you.
Other than the core game, a 1v1 local multiplayer mode, and some challenges, there isn’t actually a whole lot else to do in SPPD, there is a variety of levels to choose from, each with their own environmental hazards and unique obstacle blocks, and then there are the unlockable characters (7 of them) but then the game is pretty standard arcade puzzle style.
Graphics are a cutesy pixel art style, and animations and all sorts are fine, music is a little on the underwhelming side – I’m usually pretty easy to please when it comes to chiptune, but the soundtrack in this game isn’t particularly memorable.
Mechanically the game works, and pretty well too, though blending 2 genres like this is never easy, as a result both genres only partially make it in with certain bits missing.
The puzzle aspect is cool, and the score system is neat, however the gameplay doesn’t feel particularly deep or tricky in any way, conversely the shooting and platforming feel almost unfair because of the way the game works.
I feel like i’d have preferred the ability to take multiple hits and then ramp up the difficulty more with additional turrets/’enemy’ blocks, as opposed to the current game where you die once and obstacles are almost rare (but are a real threat when they are around.
There is also no way to speed up the rate at which blocks fall, which can result in the start of the game feeling quite boring as you wait around for something to do, seems a bit of an odd decision considering there is no time-limit and so chasing high-scores normally seems more like a test of patience than skill.
As much as I like the game now, I can’t help but feel it will not maintain long lasting appeal, the puzzle elements are weaker than other similar games like Puzzle Fighter, and the levels feel more like palette swaps than full different experiences. Unless you are competing for high scores, or have a friend on hand for local co-op, this will likely be a fairly short lived experience.
Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe is a quirky twist on established game genres, it’s certainly unlike anything else you’ve have ever played, and probably deserves a try just based on that.
The only major problem with SPPD is that it lacks any addictive qualities, you’ll have fun whilst playing it, but won’t feel a massive amount of incentive or urge to go back and keep playing once you’ve quit the game.
Approximate Game Length : 1-2 Hours
Actual Worth / Steam Price: £3/ £6= 0.5
Should you play it : Yes, Give it a try if you can, it certainly wins points for originality.
(Remember 3/5 does not mean bad, just that it’s a matter of taste)
Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe is currently on sale for £3 in the steam summer sale, and at that price it’s definitely worth it for puzzle fans.